1. Tree products in agroecosystems: economic and policy issues.
GATEKEEPER Series No. 28; IIED London, UK, 1991, 21 p.
This paper reviews trends in the use of, and rural reliance on, forest products; it examines the role of common property resources (PRs) as a source of these products; and characterises trends in the growing and management of trees in farming systems. Throughout, the impact of national policies and of programme and project interventions on these two sectors is examined in the respective sections.
Trees are planted and managed in the farming system, and in the neighbour wood to provide inputs needed in order to complement those available from on-farm resources. These non-forest sources of production are becoming increasingly important with the growing decline and degradation of nearby forests and the increase in demand for fuel, fodder, and other products.
There are three broad categories of use of forest products: direct use by the household as fuel, food, etc; inputs into the agricultural system such as fodder and mulch; and sources of rural household income and employment. These categories are discussed in detail in this paper.
Rural people draw much of their forest products from areas of forest, woodland and 'waste' land to which they have access as common property resources (CPRs). These outputs often constitute a major component of the overall agricultural system - filling gaps in the resource and income flows from other resources, and providing complementary inputs often critical to the continued functioning of agricultural and household systems.
The nature and magnitude of the relationship varies with the characteristics of the surrounding ecological and agricultural systems.
Examples from Asia and Africa are outlined.
Social forestry woodlots and joint management on forest land are explained.
In recent times farmers everywhere have sought to shift the production of outputs of value on to their own land by protecting, planting and managing trees of selected species. In many situations farmers now depend on their own tree stocks for some products, and on common property resource sources for others. The process of adding trees to farming systems has been accelerated or transformed by the growing commoditisation of fuelwood and other tree products, and the consequent emergence of the growing of trees as a cash crop. Examples in which tree planting occur in Asia and Africa are mentioned.
Within a particular agroecosystem, farmer involvement in tree growing appears to be largely related to changes in the availability and employment of land, labour and capital, and to the progressive commoditisation of tree products such as fuelwood and poles. Variations in tree growing patterns seem to reflect variations in the efficiency of operation of factor markets, different stages in the process of agrarian transition, and different patterns of tenure.
Concluding the author outlines implications for future policy considerations.
1162 92 - 7/76
Latin America, Asia, Africa, lowland tropics, plantation forestry, tree species, genotype environment interaction, tree breeding, tree yields,
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